The rising interest in global health rotations for trainees seems to be spreading across residency training programs as resident applicants ask more and more about what training programs are doing to train future pediatricians to recognize the importance of helping and advocating for children worldwide. Yet how similar are the various global health programs that are ongoing in residency? Are they similar to each other or better yet, are they based on any valid and reliable curriculum for training in global health education?
Butteris et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-0792) collected data from US residency programs in 2013-14 and compared and contrasted training programs that did and did not have a global health track while also looking at variations in these tracks by size of program. The fact that 99.5% of all programs responded to this survey is impressive and speaks to the rising import of this topic in training future pediatricians. The authors noted those programs that had a track and if not, a faculty leader, and/or field experiences both internationally and domestically.
Just how consistent or inconsistent these various global health education offerings are makes for interesting reading and learning from this article. If you want even more perspective on where global health training for residents is going, travel over to the commentary by Dr. Gordon Schutze (doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-1820), who is an expert on global health issues in children to learn even more.
Hopefully this study and accompanying commentary will serve as the nidus for collaboration across programs to find the best practices for global health education and in turn lead to more reliable and valid criteria for what a global health curriculum and training experience should consist of.
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